Has Zoom Killed the Sick Day?

Has Zoom Killed the Sick Day?

Has Zoom singlehandedly killed the sick day?

 If we look back a year ago we wrote about sick day culture. How, for so many of us, we have been trained or raised to never take a sick day. That it was inappropriate to take a sick day, you were letting the team down, and you had the weekend to recover.

 But fast forward a year and with COVID proving it is here to stay, we find businesses around the globe being forced to rely on remote working. Be it have their team working remotely 100% or mixed work life.

This has given businesses the confidence to know their team can work remotely and keep their business moving forward. Where there was once a fear that one’s business would shut down if no one could make it into the physical office itself.

But is there a dark undertone to our new love of these Online Meeting Platforms?

We once would see employees guilted and pressured into coming to work if they were ill because we couldn’t have them work from home. But now… they can work from anywhere! *insert evil laugh here*

 “You’re sick you say? Well work from home. Heck, work from bed!

This is something we are hearing more and more these days. Employers push their team to work despite being ill because there is no risk of spreading the illness around the office.

Zoom and any other platform have given our employees the ability to work from home and eliminate the risk of work not being completed due to illness.

So, this raises the question; if you once pressured or guilted people into coming to work when ill, are you now pressuring your team to work from home when ill? I mean they can work from home. They can access everything remotely. So there isn’t any logistical excuse to not work.

And this is the dark side of remote working and related platforms.

But why does it matter? They have the weekend/RDOs to recover from their ailment so why should you allow your team to take their sick day?


Sick days are a crucial tool in your Workplace Culture Toolbox. You see when you chose your employee as a person over them as a tool it shows how you care, care about them.

When you show your team that you care about them as a person, they feel valued and then are more likely to care about the business on a deeper level. And when we care about something we treat it better and deliver better results.

But maybe you don’t care about them. And that is a reality of the world. So, if you do not care about them as people, why should you care about ensuring your team is taking sick days?

They work better for longer, giving you better results.

We are humans and are just a battery. We expel energy when we work and rely on a weekend/RDOs to recharge. BUT when you are ill you expel more energy than the normal meaning you need more than just your weekend/RDO to recover.

If you pressure your team to work from home when ill, they will expel more energy by working & combatting their illness than they can regain by resting over a weekend/RDOs. This means rather than starting their week at 100% they’ll be closer to 85%, but that is compounded over time, meaning they operate at a depleted state for a longer period of time until they can fully recharge.

Operating in a depleted state means lower results for your organisation

Allowing your team to confidently take sick days or being made to take a sick day when they are ill will boost your organisation’s culture and improve productivity by your team. This also lower stress within the workplace as individuals do not fear the repercussions of being ill.

And we all know lowering stress levels improved overall health.

The world has changed and continues to change. We now see people choosing to work for organisations that genuinely care about their team members. Sick days are something you are already paying your team for and promoting your team takes an actual sick day will cost you a lot less than replacing employees.

 Zoom & Online platforms allow you to be flexible in how you tackle your work but should not be used to pressure employees to work while ill. These tools are here to help us remain operating when we cannot be in person, but should never be used to eliminate the need for sick days.

” Do not let these tools kill the sick day or your culture will die along with it”-Pip Scott-Allen

Value your people and they will value you.